GITC review: Have your say

The utilisation of the Government Information Technology Contracting (GITC) framework by agencies to procure information and communications technology (ICT) products and services has been a mandatory requirement for many years. In August 2013, the Queensland Government’s ICT Action Plan highlighted the need for a complete review and transformation of the GITC framework and the associated policies and guidelines.

Since then, agencies have seen a number of changes to the GITC framework, including the introduction of a requirement for suppliers to hold industry accreditation (QAssure certification) as a prerequisite to being accredited under the framework and the amendment of Information Standard IS13 – Procurement and disposal of ICT products and services (IS13) to permit agencies to utilise the Queensland Government’s General Contract Conditions to procure low-risk, low-value ICT services.

The GITC review has now progressed to the stage where agencies will soon be able to provide feedback on the proposed new contracting framework for procuring ICT products and services.

Proposed contracting framework for ICT procurement

IS13 currently provides that agencies have two options for procuring ICT products and services:

  • General Contract Conditions for low-risk, low-value ICT services only
  • GITC Version 5.03 for all ICT products and services. GITC Version 5.03 consists of the following five parts:
    • Part 1 – Contract Authority Provisions
    • Part 2 – Customer Contract Provisions
    • Part 3 – Customer Contract Modules and Module Orders
    • Part 4 – Customer Contract Schedules
    • Part 5 – User Guide.

The GITC review has determined that agencies would benefit from a significantly modified contracting framework that provides agencies with a greater range of options for procuring ICT. The new framework would provide agencies with a choice of contract forms based upon an assessment of the level of risk of the individual procurement.

At this stage, the new contracting framework is proposed to consist of the following options:

  • A ‘general’ ICT contract for the procurement of low-risk, low-value ICT products and services. The general contract is based on the existing General Contract Conditions, with requisite amendments to tailor those terms to the procurement of ICT.
  • A‘comprehensive’ ICT contract for the procurement of medium to high-risk, high-value ICT products and services. The comprehensive contract is based, in part, on the existing GITC Version 5.03, with requisite amendments to simplify and update those terms. Similarly to the existing GITC, the comprehensive contract will consist of multiple parts including the contract conditions, contract details, applicable modules and applicable schedules. The number of modules has been significantly reduced from 15 modules, including the modified ‘Module 10 – Additional Clauses for Cloud Services’, to just five modules.
  • At an agency’s discretion, the supplier’s terms and conditions for the procurement of low risk, low value ICT products and services. A guideline for accepting the supplier’s terms and conditions will provide agencies with a checklist to review the supplier’s terms and to determine whether key legal terms present an unacceptable level of risk for the agency if accepted.
  • At an agency’s discretion, a ‘bespoke’ ICT contract for the procurement of extremely high-risk ICT products and services. The bespoke contract will be developed and tailored by an agency to address the risk of their individual procurement.

Agencies will also continue to have the option to procure ICT products and services under whole-of-government Standing Offer Arrangements.

An online tool is being developed that agencies will be able to utilise to determine which contracting framework is most suitable for their individual procurement. The online tool will not be the sole method of determining the applicable contracting framework and agencies will be free to undertake an independent risk assessment to determine the most suitable form of contract.

In addition to changes to the contracting framework, the supplier accreditation process will also be modified.  At this stage, the new accreditation process is intended to be a one-step process which will also remove the requirement for suppliers to enter into a head agreement with the Queensland Government.

What this means for your agency

To ensure that they take advantage of the opportunity to provide feedback, agencies should ensure that they keep up to date with the progress of the GITC review by regularly visiting the GITC review website.

Additional details about the engagement process are intended to be released in May 2016. Once the engagement process has commenced, agencies should ensure that they review the proposed new contracting framework for procuring ICT products and services and that they provide feedback as to how that framework will meet their needs. Agencies will also be able to provide feedback on the new online tool and accreditation process.

The GITC review provides agencies with a valuable opportunity to guide the future requirements for procuring ICT products and services. By taking a proactive role in providing feedback, agencies have the ability to confirm that the new contracting framework will be easier to understand and simpler to use, resulting in time and cost savings when procuring ICT.

The information in this publication is provided for general purposes only. It is not to be relied on as a substitute for legal advice. Crown Law and the Department of Justice and Attorney-General accept no liability for losses caused by reliance on the material in this publication. Formal legal advice should be obtained for particular matters.

Published: 11 July 2016

Author: Adam Hall